For Hindus, Vishnu is God who inspires man to discover humanity by engaging with the world. Artists have visualized him with as curly-haired, dark complexioned man with a smile on his lips and a sparkle in his eyes. Draped in yellow silk, garlanded with forest flowers, bedecked with dolphin-shaped earrings, anointed with sandal paste, he reclines on a thousand-hooded serpent that floats on the ocean of milk and rides a golden hawk bearing in his arms a conch-shell, a wheel, a mace and a lotus. Poets say that when he is awake, the world takes shape; when he is asleep, the world ceases to be. Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, follows him wherever he goes. To him is made offerings of rich creamy butter. Sometimes, the upright Ram, he is worshipped across India as Balaji, Shreenathji, Jagannath, Ranganath and Badrinath. Locked in the stories, symbols and rituals of Vishnu is the wisdom of the ancestors, transmitted over hundreds of years. This book attempts to unlock seven secrets that are relevant even in modern times.
Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik is an Indian physician turned leadership consultant, mythologist and author whose works focus largely on the areas of myth, mythology and also management. He is former chief belief officer of Future Group, one of India's largest retailers. He writes a column for the newspaper Mid-Day.